It takes two to tango: the wisdom of 21 years together


When the magic fades

and the gray hair grows in

When the lines at the corners of

My smiling eyes

Set in . . .

When the shadows fall with a setting sun

And specks of light and joy peek through,

I will forever be grateful

For the day I married you.

It’s my 21st wedding anniversary — and while I know my little attempt at poetry is all sweet sugar and roses, life hasn’t always been like that.  We’ve gone through some terrible times —  more like vinegar and hot jalapenos —  thorny times that might have stingingly pushed us away from each other, rather than drawing us closer.  

Those moments of anger or angst, of worry and uncertainty, demanded more of us. They demanded that we recommit to each other.  The required we each step out of our own comfort zone and listen. Our future always depended on us being able to speak in a language that the other would understand a little better.  Those times — those really hard times — required our promise to hang around one more minute, and then another, and still another.

I wish it were always as easy as finding the words to type on this page. I wish I could say that the process of being married has been more smooth than rough — more intuitive than prescriptive.  Truth is, it’s all of it.  Each moment has asked something new of us. Our greatest gift to each other has been in our desire to stay and in our commitment to look for the light in each other’s eyes.  It’s been that light that has offered the most comfort and the greatest hope.

I don’t know what wisdom comes as we enter our third decade of being married.  I’m not sure if there are any secrets to making it work. My dad always said “It takes two to tango.”  Nothing could be truer.  It takes two. Me and you, Husband.  Me and You. 

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